2021 | Government

Council approves $13.6M for new homeless shelter

Facility scheduled to be completed by the end of the year

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A new homeless shelter is on the horizon for Montgomery County that will provide services for the growing needs of the county’s homeless population.

The County Council approved spending $13.6 million — $8.2 million in general obligation bonds and $5.5 million in federal grants — to acquire land, renovate a facility and cover other costs.

The new shelter, which will be located on a little more than an acre of land at 11600 Nebel St. in Rockville, will be a replacement for a current shelter on Taft Court in Rockville. Work on the new facility is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The shelter will have up to 102 beds per floor, shower and restroom facilities, dining and food prep areas, multi-purpose spaces, and case management and group therapy areas.

The county needs about 250 year-round beds, with a surge capacity of 50 to 100 beds. The transition of residents living in the Taft Court shelter and staff members to new facilities will take around 30 to 60 days. The current shelter, under lease with the city of Rockville, will no longer be available for use starting in January 2022.

The project is needed because the county’s current homeless shelters and services are “insufficient for the current population and future projection,” a council staff report noted.

The county’s Department of Health and Human Services offers shelter to homeless residents in seven facilities, in addition to hotel rooms for those who have had COVID-19 exposures or illnesses, are 62 or older, or have complex medical conditions.

The shelter at 6 Taft Court, which will be replaced, has the largest capacity of the shelter at 60 beds, besides the recreation centers that are being used to house homeless individuals because of distancing needs due to the pandemic.

The two recreation centers being temporarily used are the Long Branch Recreation Center and Coffield Recreation Center.

The other four shelters are at Rainbow Place Shelter in Rockville, Progress Place in Silver Spring, 2 Taft Court in Rockville and Crabbs Branch Way in Rockville.

The county has a capacity of 386 across all seven facilities and including hotel rooms. Once the temporary facilities and hotel rooms are no longer used, the remaining facilities will have a capacity of 108 .

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at briana.adhikusuma@bethesdamagazine.com.